WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Several area health officials say they have been seeing more sick children than normal for this time of year, and they believe a big part is because many of them are too young for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“You don’t want to worry if your child is one of the ones who has a severe reaction to getting COVID,” said Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne. “That’s another reason why it’s important for people to get vaccinated, is because some people don’t have a choice.”
With the July Fourth weekend here, Sedgwick County health officer Dr. Garold Minns and others are worried about the spread of the new delta variant.
“It appears to be more likely to be transmitted between people, and it appears to cause more severe disease. It has gradually emerged as becoming one of the more dominant strains we’re seeing.”
Dr. Amy Seery with Ascension Via Christi says the hospital is seeing other contagious viruses among children, but it’s hard to tell what it is if parents don’t have their kids tested.
“Unfortunately, without testing, we can’t tell the difference between if it’s COVID-19, regular old school Coronavirus, Rhinovirus, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, also known as RSV. We’re seeing a very offseason spike of [RSV],” said Dr. Seery.
This rise in cases of RSV, plus the Delta Variant of COVID-19 is causing problems for busy hospitals.
“In terms of an outpatient setting, we’re seeing lots and lots of kids with viral UI-type symptoms,” added Dr. Seery.